I know that through this break-up/single mom business I've been lucky. I've said it before. But it still sucks. It sucks a lot because it's not what I want. This is not where I planned to be at this point in my life. I spend a lot of time regretting the things I could be doing right now.
And then today a woman came in the store and started quietly looking around for a long...long time. I asked if she needed a hand and she shook her head, gently moving the wires from the ear buds the had in. Ooooook fine, I'll go back to doing other stuff.
She'd carry something all the way around the store then put it back and carry something else around the store. I wasn't really 'watching' her for shoplifting, but it was also starting to get awkward. She finally put a couple things on the counter and asked me to hold them for a second while she looked for something for her son. I said sure. She said it was her daughter's birthday, but she wanted something small for her 3 year old because he wouldn't understand-" and I chuckled a bit, and then she finished with "-that it's probably the last time I'll see them."
I regretted laughing. Usually people finish that sentence with an eye roll and a shrug about how they need something so its fair to the little one too.
She walked across the store and I re-directed her to toys I knew Toby would like. She picked one of them.
She said she was sorry for muttering about how expensive everything is, but for a single mom it is. I said I was a single mom too, and yes toys are generally expensive.
She softened a bit after that and asked what kind of things Toby was into. She asked if I liked working here. She asked if Toby liked coming in here.
She told me briefly of the problems she's having with the dad.
She told her her kids are in foster care and she's still fighting for them, but it's probably the last time she'll see them.
I gift wrapped her purchases and wished her luck.
She left and I went to go back to typing and realized how much my hands were shaking. The tears followed shortly after. Well crap, I still have to have the store open for another hour, pull it together.
I know I'm lucky... but... I'm Lucky.
Luke, I know you'll never read this, but thank you for being understanding and 'kind' throughout this.
Sabrina, Thank you for not being completely crazy, and for eventually realizing that I'm not crazy either.
Jeff and Sarah, thank you for being a giant ear to my many ramblings. And honestly if not for all this we still probably would not be talking much.
My parents, thank you for allowing there to be a roof over our heads and food in the fridge.
The rest of my family and friends, in-laws included, thank you for being nothing but supportive and generous for the last 4 years.
And Toby, thank you for all of your hugs and kisses and good morning 'I love yous', and for trying to be one of the best kids I've ever met.